March 22 – May 13, 2017
Mirroring the structure of its title number, balance and strength are at the center of 8, the spring group show at Elizabeth Houston Gallery on Orchard Street. Showcasing works from sixteen artists, the bi-level exhibition explores a number of materials, themes, and representations through painting, collage, and photography.
Upstairs, a large blue and yellow Gary Stephen work “expands the experience of picture space,” incorporating formalist tools to explore surrealist notions. A pair of Collin Chillag’s purposely-unfinished pieces from his State Fair (2016) series sits next to a plastic and acrylic work on canvas by Brooklyn-based Adrian Tone. A striking portrait by Celeste Rapone evokes the formality of the Dutch Golden age in colors reminiscent of a 1980s boardwalk. Atlanta mixed media artist Scott Ingram’s use of nail polish in Latex Dreams (2016) adds “sexual charge,” to the automatism of his dripped colors. Sound-inspired acrylic circles from Ulrich Panzer and a scene of remote wilderness from Breehan James round out the eclectic arrangement, alongside California based oil painters Dan Lydersen and Rebecca Campbell.
Downstairs, two of John Cyr’s series of eighty-two developer trays occupy a corner—haunting representations from photographers Sally Mann and Lillian Bassman. The pair of Developer Tray (2010 and 2011) works share a wall with a provocative C-print from Brooklyn-based Margeaux Walter, who uses color and pattern to render her domestic scene as a dizzying optical illusion. On the opposite wall, Oria—San Jose Purua (2014) from Swiss artist duo F&D Cartier explores found 20th Century slides from a “grand tour” of Europe. A unique Polaroid photogram from Brian Buckley, and a mixed media collage from Matthew King, evoke the colors and nostalgia of 1970s Americana. Additional works by Oklahoma-based Andy Mattern and California photographer Melanie Willhide create a balance of space, content and color.
Maya Harder-Montoya is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor with a background in art history and critical theory. Her work can be found in Artforum, Blouin Art+Auction, Posture Magazine, LOSTWKND, and Artspace, as well as several academic journals. She is currently Visual Arts Editor of Posture Magazine, a print publication dedicated to the creative exploration of identity.